The Grammarphobia Blog

The “i” in iPOD

Q: Here’s a question for Steve Jobs. IPod: May we cap the “i” at the beginning of a sentence, Mr. Jobs?

A: If I hear from him, I’ll let you know. As for whether “iPod” should be capitalized at the start of a sentence, this is something that has been much debated on copy desks. Since it’s an issue of style rather than grammar, I’ll go straight to the horse’s mouth: The Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed).

When a term like “iPod” or “eBay” appears at the beginning of a sentence, The Chicago Manual recommends “either capitalizing the first letter in that position or, better, recasting the sentence so the name does not appear at the beginning.” (Section 8.163)

It may be a cop-out, but I also prefer the second choice: rewriting the sentence to avoid the problem.

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